in the long run, burning natural gas would still release too much carbon dioxide. Wind and solar power are becomingincreasingly widespread, but their intermittentand variable supply make them poorly suitedfor large-scale usein the absence of an affordable way to store electricity. Hydropower, meanwhile, has very limited prospects for expansionin the United States because of environmental concerns and the small number of potential sites. Still, nuclear power facesa number of challenges in terms ofsafety, construction costs, waste management, andweapons proliferation. After Fukushima, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, an independent federal agency that licenses nuclear reactors, reviewed the industry's regulatory requirements, operating procedures, emergency response plans, safety design requirements, and spent-fuel management. The NRC will almost certainly implement a number of the resulting recommendations, and the cost of doing business with nuclear energy in the United States will inevitably go up. Those plants that are approaching the end of their initial 40-year license period, and that lack certain modern safety features, will face additional scrutiny in having their licenses extended. At the same time, new reactors under construction in Finland and France have gone billions of dollars over budget, casting doubt on the affordability of nuclear power plants. Public concern about radioactive waste isalso hindering nuclear power, and no country yet has a functioning system for disposingof it. In fact, the U.S. government is paying billions of dollars in damages to utility companies for failing to meet its obligations to remove spent fuel from reactor sites. Some observers are also concerned that the spread of civilian nuclear energy infrastructure could leadtothe proliferationof nuclear weapons -- a problem exemplified by Iran's uranium-enrichment program. If the benefits of nuclear power are to be realized in the United States, each of these hurdles must be overcome. When it comes to safety, the design requirements for nuclear reactors must be reexamined in light of up-to-date analyses of plausible accidents. As for cost, the government and the private sector need to advance new designs that lower the financial risk of constructing nuclear power plants. The country must also replace its broken nuclear waste management systemwith a more adaptive onethat safely disposes of waste and stores it for centuries. Only then can the public's trust be earned.Warming is anthropogenic – the most comprehensive data-sets are conclusive Green 13– Professor of Chemistry @ Michigan Tech60
*John Cook – Fellow @ Global Change Institute, produced climate communication resources adopted by organisations such as NOAA and the U.S. Navy**Dana Nuccitelli – MA in Physics @ UC-Davis***Mark Richardson – PhD Candidate in Meteorology, et al.,(“Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature,” EnvironmentalResearch Letters, 8.2)An accurate perception of the degree of scientific consensus is an essential element to public support for climate policy (Ding et al 2011).
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